The first thing that you'll notice when skimming over the ingredient list for Juice Beauty's Oil-free Moisturizer ($28 for 2 oz in the TIA shop) is that the leading ingredient is not aqua (water), as in the case of most cosmetics, but organic juices of the pyrus malus (apple). The same is true of all Juice Beauty's organic line of skin care products, and indeed the company's main line of differentiation from all of the other organic beauty line competitors out there.

But so what? Does that mean anything? The Q&A section on the company's website gives all the standard reasons for why organic juices are, well, just plain swell: rich in potent antioxidants, essential vitamins, vital phytonutrients and powerful hydroxy acids.To be exact, the organic juices of apple are rich in vitamin A, B, C, K, alpha-hydroxy acid (malic acid), phytonutrients, flavonoids, phenols; are protective against cell and tissue
damage, full of powerful antioxidant activity, and promotes skin rejuvenation.

But sure. The next question is, does having it as your formula's base make any difference? Perhaps not, but at least it's another line of defense against those pesky free radicals that keep showing up trying to age us ladies prematurely.

I decided to try out this moisturizer in particular because I was looking for a light-weight day time formula that would absorb easily into my skin during those hot and humid New York dog days. What I can tell you is that the moisturizer smells just great, is silky smooth to the touch, but still retains that feeling of a layered product on my face longer than I want it to. Sometimes, on particularly sweltering days, while on my walk to the subway station, I was aware of a peculiar sheen on my face made up of equal parts sweat, er... a woman's "glow," and my moisturizer. That's my only complaint.

There are, however, many things to love about this moisturizer. The first seven ingredients after the apple juice provide a heptad of powerful antioxidants, of which vitis vinifera (white grape) juice and punica granatum (pomegranate) juice are my favorites.

As documented elsewhere on this blog, the pomegranate fruit has proven to be quite a powerhouse when it comes to skin care... from UVA- and UVB-induced damage control, to skin regeneration, to hyperpigmentation control, to collagen production, to chemopreventative activity, and collagen deteriation inhibition. If anything deserves to be dubbed a superfruit, then it is pomegranate.

Lest I forget the noble grape, let me just add a quick shout out: rich with the powerful antioxidant resveratrol, vitamins A, B, C, and the powerful alpha-hydroxy acid (tartaric acid), vitis viniera does many things: both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, it also works to the benefit of photoaged skin and promotes skin rejuvenation.

Going down the list, we come to two more botanicals that are put to good use. As they have been used for centuries to sooth and calm troubled skin, aloe and cucumber are both comforting ingredients that remind me of my rather eccentric, Southern Baptist born and bred grandmother who kept potted plants of aloe on every windowsill and fell asleep every night with a stem stuck to the inside of her cheek. (On a side note, my grandmother lived to be well into her 90s, giving up her bicycle and vintage VW car at the age of 91; a car that I inherited in college and that will forever be associated with the image of her pushing the idle vehicle inside her garage all by herself. That aloe vera plant certainly did her a whole lot of good.)

Dandelion extract, also known as lion’s tooth or wild endive, is the next ingredient we come to and is an excellent source of beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin C, nutrients that act as antioxidants in the body. Extracted from the leaf it also works as an astringent, anti-inflammatory, and cleanser. Sage follows dandelion, and pretty much works the same way.

Lemon balm is partly responsible for the potion's lovely fragrance along with sweet orange, petitgrain and ho wood pure essential oils, but it goes a step further with its antiseptic and antiviral properties that work to clarify, detoxify, and sooth the skin.

Additional goodies include retinyl palmitate (vitamin A), panthenol (vitamin B), and ascorbyl palmitate (vitamin C), along with the mineral rich, potent antioxidant algae extract.

So is there anything not to like? Well besides the almost requisite bad guys to be found in organic skin care, those being limonene and linalool (check out What is it: Lavender and skin safety for more information), this moisturizer also includes the ingredient eugenol - an ingredient that may provoke an allergic reaction among some, and has been shown in some studies to be "highly cytoxic at concentrations as low as 0.03%". (For more information, check out What is it?: Eugenol and should it be avoided?)


organic juices of pyrus malus (apple) juice, vitis vinifera (white grape) juice, punica granatum (pomegranate) juice & aloe barbadensis leaf juice, organic cucumis sativus (cucumber) extract, organic botanical extracts of taraxacum officinale (dandelion) leaf, melissa offficinalis (lemon balm) leaf & salvia officinalis (sage) leaf, glycerin, caprylic/capric triglyceride, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, retinyl palmitate (vitamin A), panthenol (vitamin B5), tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), organic algae extract, organic cera alba (beeswax), ascorbyl palmitate (vitamin C), ethylhexyl (octyl) palmitate, cetearyl alcohol, cetearyl glucoside, sodium PCA, sodium hyaluronate, xanthan gum, disodium EDTA, sodium hydroxide, phenoxyethanol, limonene, linalool, eugenol, citrus aurantium (sweet orange & petitgrain) & cinnamomum camphora (ho wood) pure essential oils.